A Monster for Every Season: Summer 2
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  1. - Top - End - #1
    Orc in the Playground
     
    Kobold

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    Default 2E cosmology help

    A friend of mine who's in love with 2E is running a 4E game for our group now and I'd like to know more about the 2E cosmology because he's supplanting the 4E fluff with it.

    The main thing for me is that my character is a shadar-kai, which are a group of humans whose ancestors lived in the shadowfell and made a pact with the raven queen. He's told me that the shadowfell doesn't exist in 2E and suggests that my character could be from the plane of shadow. I also don't know where/if/how the raven queen fits into 2E's cosmology.

    Many of the players in the group are in a similar situation and I thought I'd look around for some information that I could use direct them to, since we only see the DM once a week. So far, my sub par googling skills have led me no where but torrent sites and Amazon.

    So, basically, if there are any sites you can point me to or planar information you can remember I'd be grateful. Thanks in advance!

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    Bugbear in the Playground
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    Default Re: 2E cosmology help

    The default 2e cosmology is often referred to as "The Great Wheel," for its shape.

    At the center of the cosmos sits the Prime Material Plane, which connects with three others - the Astral Plane, the Ethereal Plane, and the Shadow Plane. The Ethereal Plane connects the Prime with the Inner Planes - the Elemental Planes of Fire, Earth, Water, and Air, the Positive and Negative Energy Planes, and the assorted planes that form where all of these planes touch. Basically, these are whole worlds associated with a specific element, or with either Positive Energy - pure "Life Force" - or Negative Energy - entropy.

    The Astral Plane connects the Prime to the various Outer Planes, each of which corresponds to a different alignment (note that there are nine alignments in 2e, instead of the 5 in 4e). So, for example, the Seven Heavens, or Mount Celestia, is the Lawful Good Plane. The Nine Hells of Baator is the Lawful Evil Plane. Each of the outer planes is home to its own class of creatures: the devils, or Baatezu, inhabit the Nine Hells, the demons, or Tanar'ri dominate the Infinite Layers of the Abyss, etc. Also, each of these planes serves as the after-life for characters of the appropriate alignment.


    The Raven Queen and the Shadowfell do not exist in 2e (unless you put them there - 2e has no default pantheon of gods). If you want some sort of background for Shadar-kai, you could maybe describe them as souls of the dead which accidentally drifted into the Shadow Plane instead of the Astral Plane and got lost there until the Raven Queen found them. Or something like that.

    If you want more details, you could take a look at the wikipedia page for the Manual of the Planes (look under the 3rd edition bit - it's very similar to 2nd edition). Maybe search through the links.
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    Orc in the Playground
     
    Kobold

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    Default Re: 2E cosmology help

    Thanks for the post. You've given me a bit of grounding. I remember the DM talking with another player in the group about 12 different elemental demi planes (dust, void, vacuum or names similar to those) because she's playing a Genasi. I felt inundated by all the stuff they were spewing out, but I'll start researching the great wheel.

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    SillySymphonies's Avatar

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    Default Re: 2E cosmology help

    Spoiler
    Show

    [spoiler tags for size; link here]
    Last edited by SillySymphonies; 2011-04-07 at 05:06 AM.

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    Default Re: 2E cosmology help

    *Sigh* I love the Great Wheel.

    The Raven Queen can easily be dropped into the Great Wheel. Just pick the plane that most closely corresponds with her alignment. The planes are infinite, so there's plenty of room.
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    Colossus in the Playground
     
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    Default Re: 2E cosmology help

    Watch out, though: while both use The Great Wheel, there's differences between 2nd and 3rd edition:

    In second edition, the astral plane only connected the outer and material planes. In third edition, it's mentioned as touching all planes. The ethereal, on the other hand, connected elemental and material planes, but is only touching the material in 3rd.
    The plane of shadow, more importantly, was a demiplane back in 2nd, a kind of mini-plane that's part of the ethereal. In third edition, it's a plane of it's own.

    Planescape, the setting most closely involved with the planes, has actually hundreds and thousands of gods, as all gods ever invented, in both the real world and the many D&D settings, exist somewhere on the wheel.

    The Raven Queen is unaligned, IIRC, which would probably translate to True Neutral or Lawful Neutral in the old alignment system. Most gods are on the outer Planes (I'm not aware of any on the plane of shadow), so I'd probably put her in the Outlands, the plane corresponding to the neutral alignment.
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    Default Re: 2E cosmology help

    I actually prefer the 3rd Edition Manual of the Planes version. 6 Inner planes are more than enough.
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    Barbarian in the Playground
     
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    Default Re: 2E cosmology help

    The shadar Kai came from third ed and they were fey linked to he shadow plane. So you can easily just say your people come from he demiplane of shadow. If you prefer the Raven queen origin just place her in the Demi Plan of shadow (or in whatever plane or demiplane you prefer, if you can't find one you like just make up a demi plane and put her there.)

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    Barbarian in the Playground
     
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    Default Re: 2E cosmology help

    You could also be from sigil, I was under the impression that all gods that existed could provide spells and seek worshipers there.
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    GnomePirate

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    Default Re: 2E cosmology help

    On the Raven Queen,
    from wikipedia "she was once the mortal consort of the original god of death, Nerull. She overthrew the tyrannical Nerull and claimed his portfolio by absorbing the powers of every tormented soul in his dominion, leading the other deities to revoke her power over deceased souls; hence, she can only claim dominion over death itself, and not over those who have died."

    So in older editions shadar-kai should be roughly aligned with Nerull, or possibly certain arch-fey, specifically arch fey of winter.
    Last edited by Bagelz; 2011-04-07 at 01:20 PM.

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    Default Re: 2E cosmology help

    Quote Originally Posted by Yora View Post
    I actually prefer the 3rd Edition Manual of the Planes version. 6 Inner planes are more than enough.
    I like the idea of distinct transitive planes for different connections, though. The various quasi- and paraelemental planes are nice, but not necessary. Especially since they also have sub-regions.

    However, in Planescape mythology it's important to know that really, no one god can claim domain over anything. There's gotta be hundreds of gods of death, at least. Perhaps an infinite number. There's all those from real world mythology (I've seen Hel, Hades, Anubis and a few others mentioned), then the various D&D gods (Nerull, Wee Jas, the Forgotten Realms gods) and so on.
    Last edited by Eldan; 2011-04-07 at 01:18 PM.
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    Kobold

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    Default Re: 2E cosmology help

    Thanks for the continued input, the picture is especially awesome. I don't know if he wants me adding gods or not since he seemed to show a bit of disdain for the 4e fluff, but since I personally like the Raven Queen deal, I'll see if he'll let me add her since the Great Wheel seems very all-inclusive anyway.

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    Colossus in the Playground
     
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    Default Re: 2E cosmology help

    It is. One of the core principles of Planescape was that every myth can be found somewhere.

    There was a book detailing various Earth pantheons with D&D stats. Celtic gods, Indian gods, Chinese gods, Japanese gods, Sumerian gods, Finnish gods... some were really obscure, at least to me.
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    Ogre in the Playground
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    Default Re: 2E cosmology help

    Yeah, this map is really awesome.

    But I have one gripe with a small little detail: On Mechanus there appears to be a place called "Neumannus". Let ignore the stupid name for a moment, but what is this supposed to be? The place where "dead" Borg, Xenon and Replicators go to (does this even make sense?)?

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    Barbarian in the Playground
     
    EvilJames's Avatar

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    Default Re: 2E cosmology help

    Quote Originally Posted by incandescent View Post
    Thanks for the continued input, the picture is especially awesome. I don't know if he wants me adding gods or not since he seemed to show a bit of disdain for the 4e fluff, but since I personally like the Raven Queen deal, I'll see if he'll let me add her since the Great Wheel seems very all-inclusive anyway.
    I should think he would be ok with it since he's letting you play this race, in the first place. Since hey didn't exist in 2nd ed, Fluff of some sort or another has to be given to them so the origin you like would be just as good as another.

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    Colossus in the Playground
     
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    Default Re: 2E cosmology help

    Quote Originally Posted by Zombimode View Post
    Yeah, this map is really awesome.

    But I have one gripe with a small little detail: On Mechanus there appears to be a place called "Neumannus". Let ignore the stupid name for a moment, but what is this supposed to be? The place where "dead" Borg, Xenon and Replicators go to (does this even make sense?)?
    Unless I'm mistaken, it's the birth place of Inevitables. And well, the name does make sense, even if it's a bit silly.
    Last edited by Eldan; 2011-04-09 at 04:50 AM.
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    Halfling in the Playground
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    Default Re: 2E cosmology help

    Quote Originally Posted by Eldan View Post
    It is. One of the core principles of Planescape was that every myth can be found somewhere.

    There was a book detailing various Earth pantheons with D&D stats. Celtic gods, Indian gods, Chinese gods, Japanese gods, Sumerian gods, Finnish gods... some were really obscure, at least to me.
    Do you remember what the name of the book was? I will definitely try to hunt it down.

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    Colossus in the Playground
     
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    Default Re: 2E cosmology help

    On Hallowed Ground. It gives a paragraph or two on tons of gods, but the "stats" for them are AD&D, which means that they give an alignment, a location for their realm and a few things these gods influence, not much more. So, if you want to use them in 3.X, you'll still have to write up your own domains.
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    Default Re: 2E cosmology help

    Quote Originally Posted by Eldan View Post
    Unless I'm mistaken, it's the birth place of Inevitables. And well, the name does make sense, even if it's a bit silly.
    In all its awesomeness, Planescape as a whole is a bit silly.
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    Default Re: 2E cosmology help

    Quote Originally Posted by Yora View Post
    In all its awesomeness, Planescape as a whole is a bit silly.
    Indeed, indeed.
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    Default Re: 2E cosmology help

    Quote Originally Posted by Yora View Post
    In all its awesomeness, Planescape as a whole is a bit silly.
    I broke someone's brain the other day telling them about the Spire at the center of the Outlands.

    The joys of something infinitely tall that you can see the top of.

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    Colossus in the Playground
     
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    Default Re: 2E cosmology help

    Also: you can see Sigil from the Outlands, but form Sigil, you see only void.
    "And now I see, with eyes serene,
    The very pulse of the machine."

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